Well, it happened once again. The calendar turned to August and somehow my kids are another year older and we have to go back to school.
I sure haven’t been looking forward to this one. The first of the lasts. It is Zac’s last first day of school with us, and my heart can just hardly take it.
This is every first day of school since he was in the 1 1/2 year old preschool class. I can remember each and every one of these pictures, and the feelings that went along with it.
This week Jen Hatmaker sent her fourth child off to college, and she said,
“God. Where does it all go? The time. The years. It is so weird, because just a few days ago, you were going to their 2nd grade Field Day and picking them up from church camp and buying them their first deodorant. Everything felt permanent: Mom, kid, house, backyard, school, friends, lunchboxes, football practice, sleepovers.
It isn’t. None of it keeps. Their sweet round faces become lean and angular and they grow right up and move out, no matter what you say or do.”
Oh my heart, that is where it stings the most. For some glorious years it did feel permanent. As much as I wanted to hold on, the time just kept slipping through my fingers.
I’m so thankful that these brothers have always had each other. And this week has reminded me that I am not the only one with tender feelings about the start of Z’s senior year. Drew is feeling it too.
Drew is such a sweet and sensitive soul. He doesn’t want life to change anymore than I do.
He started his sophomore year this year, which is hard to wrap my head around. He loves his family, he loves his friends, and he loves causing chaos with his younger siblings. He is talented at debate, loving learning how to drive, and just took up karate. He is boisterous and energetic, and brings us so much joy.
These two are back at the same school campus together now, and Hannah is starting seventh grade and Kai is starting fourth. Hannah is so excited to see her friends again; a crazy crew that must make her teachers at least a little bit nervous.
Kai has been a bit apprehensive because several of his closest friends have changed schools this year. He can be pretty shy in social situations, so he is nervous without those friends at school to count on. Personally, I think that with his overall adorableness that friends will be flocking to him quickly.
They both continue to impress me with their Mandarin. At our open house the teachers jumped right in speaking to them in Mandarin and they jumped into conversations like they hadn’t missed a beat. I only wish I knew everything that they were saying, but I’m so thankful they are part of a community where they have this opportunity.
Kaitlyn also has a big year. She is already accusing Zac of always trying to “steal her thunder.” She is entering 8th grade, her final year at the loving school she has been at since the 1st grade. She is afraid that no one will notice this big moment for her because Zac is starting his senior year, but I have tried to remind her that parents have eyes and hearts that take it ALL in, and we are capable of feeling all the things at once.
She loves her school with a passion, and the idea of leaving it and all of her friends scattering to different high schools is enough to bring tears to her eyes every single time she thinks about it.
The final chapter of our time at this school after twelve years is hard to swallow. It is another piece of our life that has felt permanent, when in fact it was always fleeting. I love Cliff Valley, and will be forever thankful for the foundation it has given my children with an emphasis on being a kind and thoughtful person. I can’t think of anything more important than that.
So, we begin this year of lasts. It is going to be emotional ride, but I don’t want to miss a thing.